Monday, December 17, 2007

Milford Sound, Shmilford Sound

The Milford Sound is a key part of Fiordland National Park, which has been designated as a World Heritage site. When I heard this from our tour guide, I started to shake uncontrollably and became queasy -- Angkor Wat is also a World Heritage site and that was an overpriced waste of time.

The Milford Sound trip is composed of the following:
- 4 hour bus trip to the sound
- 1.5 hour hour cruise around the sound; soggy chicken sandwich
- 4 hour bus trip back to Queenstown
- $127 bill

The bus picked us up at 8:00, so the trip provided a good chance to catch up on our sleep. My biggest gripe is the scenery is pretty monotonous: Plants, rocks, trees, mountains, river, waterfalls, repeat for 9.5 hours. The boat trip was also a letdown. The water was dark green, like the Boston Harbor. The only wildlife we saw was fat, lazy seals lying on some rocks. The seals at the Boston Aquarium are more active.

At the risk of sounding like a whiner, Randystravels surveyed some people who took the trip. When we asked what they thought, initially, they would say "it was nice." (Who wants to bash a World Heritage site?) When asked if the trip lived up to it promise, we got the following responses.
"What a rip off."
"What a load of crap."

My Own World Heritage Sites

Obviously, those who designate world heritage status know very little about the world. So, I have come up with my own sites of exceptional beauty and culture.

- Sok San Palace, Siem Riep, Cambodia
Must see: Lady boy go-go dancers
- Central Market, Phnom Penh
Must see: dried larvae and dried snake snacks
- Saigon, Vietnam
Must see: Moped mayhem during rush hour
- North to South highway, Vietnam
Must see: Highway stop with trough urinal 4 feet from kitchen